Add a drop of clear solution to a microscope slide containing a tiny piece of copper and create a beautiful, silver-branched holiday tree that grows before your very eyes! Continue reading
Here’s a twist on the classic chemical hand warmers you can buy for you to research and improve.
If you’ve been outdoors when it’s really cold, there’s a good chance you’ve either used these yourself or wished you had. You can experience a variation on the science found inside a commercial warmer with some pretty basic materials. You’ll discover how an everyday chemical reaction like rusting is used to keep your digits toasty. This experimental version of the hand warmer is offered as a test idea and not as a definitive solution. You’re encouraged to share your science fair results online.
Sitting around a campfire, you can feel its heat, smell the woody smoke, and hear it crackle. If you get too close, it burns your eyes and stings your nostrils. You could stare at the bright flames forever as they twist and flicker in endless incarnations… But what exactly are you looking at? Elizabeth Cox illuminates the science behind fire. Continue reading
The Alka-Seltzer tablets contain sodium bicarbonate and citric acid. As the Alka-Seltzer tablet dissolves in water, the citric acid
reacts with the sodium bicarbonate to produce carbonic acid (Equation 1) and carbon dioxide (Equation 2). The carbonic acid
then reacts with the basic sodium hydroxide to change the pH of the solution (Equations 3 and 4). As the base is consumed, the
solution will slowly become more acidic, resulting in the colour changes.
A candle and beaker of pink phenolphthalein solution are placed inside a jar. The candle is lit and the jar is capped. The flame expectedly goes out as the oxygen is depleted. After the flame is extinguished, the pink solution slowly fades to colourless. What has happened inside the jar?
Show the power of chemistry by tearing apart an aluminum soda can with little effort. Just score the inside of a soda can to break the plastic lining, add some copper(II) chloride and water, and sit back—chemistry will do the rest. The single replacement reaction of aluminum metal with copper(II) ions “ dissolves” the aluminum from the inside out. With only the paint on the outside of thecan holding it together, the can will rip apart with just a firm twist. Continue reading
Everyone is self-conscious about having bad breath, but what about acid breath? Our science guy Steve Spangler puts on the lab coat to reveal the chemistry of your breath. Continue reading
If you ever find a “gold” penny in your pocket of change, don’t quit your day job. It’s either the work of a Leprechaun or a classroom of young alchemists who are practicing their metal changing skills. Continue reading